A brief round up of online reaction to the 521 debendification over the weekend.  Notably less pro-Boris cheerleading this time round:

  • DJDarkside: Since when did they scrap the 521 bendy bus from London Bridge? These singleton ones are not cool.
  • jamiebarry: Well done Boris, replacing the 521 bendy bus with a single decker bus WITH HARDLY ANY SEATS!!
  • commutineer: Ominous sign! Half the space on new single decker 521 bus is standing only. No seats! Nice to know our comfort is considered important
  • sarah_clelland: No more bendy bus on the 521 route! Been replaced with an airport-type bus, ie one with hardly any seats in it!
  • AlexPearmain: Today was a sad, sad morning; first of the 521 Waterloo non-bendy bus era. The prince of buses is no more. Sniff
  • commutineer: @mayoroflondon – big queue for 521 bus at #Waterloo. only half managed to get on. we’d all have gotten on the bendy bus!
  • paulprentice: The 521 has lost its bendy buses, an ill-judged move motivated by ignorance of how public transport works

There’s also a review here:

Obviously, this is now a completely anecdotal piece of evidence, having used it just once so far this week, but it immediately strikes me that there aren’t very many seats on the new bus.

My favourite has to be the comparison with airport buses.  Oh, Boris, you are indeed thoroughly hoist with your own rhetorical petard on this one, son.

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7 Responses to Bendy Twittering

  1. James says:

    It would be nice if TravelWatch or TFL , maybe some from The London Assembly would bring about a legal challenge to stop Boris Johnson from withdrawing the Bendy Bus because there are so many reasons and very good arguments against taking it out of service especially when nobody appears to know exactly how much it will cost at the end of the day and how much fares will increase to pay for it. I always thought that in a recession you had to tighten your belts , not forgetting TFL is short of funds. Is this all FairyLand Politic’s or what ?

  2. Mark Lee says:

    Anyone an expert on Public Sector Procurement? There are a huge number of rules surrounding it, I wouldn’t be surprised if awarding a contract to a bid that represents a more expensive option and offers diminished service would leave you on shaky ground…

    There was a flock of TfL observers at Waterloo this morning (well, that seemed to be what they were doing, standing around and making notes), would be quite interesting to see any research that they end up doing.

  3. Helen says:

    The first thing I noticed on exiting Waterloo yesterday evening was a 521 as it swung alarmingly around the corner when I crossed the road.

  4. Tim says:

    I thought the point of this route was to be a short distance shuttle, hence it didn’t need that many seats.
    I cycled past a queue for a 521 yesterday evening. But it was in front of Kings College on the Strand, so the passengers had only two stops max they could have gone (the length of Waterloo Bridge.
    Seems a pointlessly short distance to take a bus. But I do see people getting on a bus at London Bridge station and only going across the bridge before getting off.

  5. prj45 says:

    Helen: “The first thing I noticed on exiting Waterloo yesterday evening was a 521 as it swung alarmingly around the corner when I crossed the road.”

    One of my main concerns about introducing a load more comparatively light single deckers onto London’s roads was that smaller buses are sometimes driven like rally cars; I’ve never seen a bendy being chucked round.

    Like whales, bendies are big, slow and easy to avoid.

    Will be interesting to see if the incident rates change on these routes.

  6. Tom says:

    “I thought the point of this route was to be a short distance shuttle, hence it didn’t need that many seats.”

    Quite true, it’s never had that many, but Boris has removed quite a lot of the ones that *were* there, quite sharply increasing the ratio of seats to standing room (from about 2:1 to 3.5:1). I can only presume that this was done to avoid someone’s prediction of massive overcrowding (for statistical reasons you can’t transport as many people in twice as many buses half the size with the same reliability – bigger buses smooth out demand spikes). Of course, one of old Gilligan’s complaints was that we should think of the poor bendy passenger from whom evil Ken had removed the seat underneath them…

    The Red Arrows, such as remain, are intended to move people short distances from rail terminals to avoid stressing the underground – at Victoria, for instance, the underground regularly closes at peak times. It’s not particularly surprising some people take them short walkable distances if they’re paying annually and working in high time-value occupations.

  7. Wibble Wobble says:

    Basically, he’s messed up again. Just for a change.

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